Rohit Dhankar

Early morning a friend sent a link to an article titled ‘As Per Government Policy, No Muslim Candidate Was Invited, Selected or Sent Abroad’ which claims that the Ministry of AYUSH has categorically stated in reply to an RTI query that “as per government policy, no Muslim candidate was invited, selected or sent abroad” as a trainer/teacher during World Yoga Day 2015. The article also has a scanned copy of the letter from the Ministry of AYUSH which sates “As per government policy – No Muslim candidate was invited, selected or sent abroad”. The letter also states “Total 711 Muslim candidates applied for short term assignment (Trainer /Teacher) during World Yog day 2015”. This information seems to have come from “Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga”.

The admission that it was “as per government policy” that “no Muslim candidate was either invited, selected or sent abroad” is so brazen and stupid that an ordinary citizen of the “SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC” of India does not know what to make of it. Assuming that the present day government actually has such a secret policy would it be so stupid to admit it openly? Such an admission is extremely risky in political terms, and the Human Rights Commission and the Supreme Court can definitely—if I understand the legal position correctly—take the government to task for this. One hopes with crossed fingers that it is some kind of stupid clerical mistake. Not because one has any trust in the secularism of the party in power, but simply because the cost of such an admission is too high for any political party to be able to take that risk.

Therefore, one tries to look for reasonable logical possibilities why such an open admission of blatant unconstitutional religious discrimination may take place. There seem to be four reasonable possibilities:

1.   The government does have such a discriminatory policy secretly, and some inefficient official spilled the beans inadvertently.

2.   The government does have such a discriminatory policy secretly, and some unhappy official spilled the beans deliberately to warn the country.

3.   The government has no such policy but some official deliberately used such language to defame it.

4.   The government has no such policy but some official made a stupid and dangerous drafting mistake.

I am not counting the possibility of the letter being forged, as that would be too risky for the author of the article. Possibilities 3 and 4 only provide further proof of incompetence of the government and I will not consider them here anymore. Therefore, rest of my comment is only on the possibility of the government really having such a secret policy.  

One does not need to deliberate on the issue of such policy being against the constitution, that it in violation of human rights, and would be morally extremely depraved; as all this is too obvious.

If one believes in this possibility then the nation is in great danger. Secularism, justice, equality and fraternity among its citizens are being deliberately destroyed. And this should become the most grave and important concern for every democratic citizen of the country at the moment. If this be the case, then all the charges of intolerance, throttling freedom of expression, unleashing lynch mobs and victimisation of critics are automatically proved. Condemnation of a government which can even contemplate such a policy would be grossly inadequate response. This becomes an occasion for all out fight against such a government. I do not know the legalities; but such a government loses all moral right to remain in power in a secular democratic country. And the citizens who want to safeguard democracy and secularism have no more important duty than to dislodge such a government as speedily as possible.

However, as I said above, one still hopes that it is some kind of stupid mistake. I wonder if one can seek clarification from the government through the Human Rights Commission or through the Supreme Court.